Twitter is interesting. It's interesting to see what other people are talking about. I remember scrolling through tweets a few years ago when Cornell was playing Kentucky in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tourney to see what people were saying about the game. People talk about breaking news. People talk about major world events or catastrophes. Sometimes you can get information from people on the scene before the news outlets get it.

A lot of "trending topics" are usually dumb or pointless, but a couple days ago some of my coworkers were tweeting with the hash tag #fatbands. Fat bands? Are they talking about some sort of new weight loss strategy? Then I read the tweets. One word: HILARIOUS.

So I compiled some of my favorites to share with you. Friday is a good day to enjoy a laugh.

  1. Diabeatles
  2. Obesetie Boys
  3. Florence and the Vending Machine
  4. Macaroon 5
  5. 3 S'mores Down
  6. Taking Back Sundae
  7. Walk DMC
  8. KFC and the Sunshine Band
  9. One Digestion
  10. Bread Paisley
  11. Fleetwood Mac & Cheese
  12. Bon Bon Jovi
  13. Bruno Mars Bar
  14. The Red Velvet Underground
  15. Celine Dijon
  16. R.E.M&Ms
  17. Cinnabon Iver
  18. Bon Eclair
  19. Ben Folds Five Guys
  20. Slim Jim Shady
  21. The Beached Boys
  22. Trans-Fat Siberian Orchestra
  23. Honey Buns & Roses
  24. Flap Jack Johnson
  25. Flan Halen
  26. 50 Cent Wings
  27. 30 Seconds to Marzipan
  28. Bananas Foster the People
  29. The Rolling Scones
  30. Limp Brisket
  31. Eggs of Base
  32. Picnic! at the Disco
  33. Panic! at the Treadmill
  34. Sushi & Him
  35. Lardy Antebellum
  36. Soda Fountains of Wayne
  37. David Chowder Band
  38. Burger Kings of Leon
  39. Kid Wok
  40. Jelly Furtado
  41. Death Cab for Cookie
  42. Oreo Speedwagon
  43. Bootie & the Blowfish
  44. Cheese Whiz Khalifa
  45. Rascal Fatts
  46. Food Fighters
  47. Pearl Ham
  48. Lunchbox 20
  49. John Mayo
  50. Red Hot Chili Dogs


hot day at the zoo.

After work today, I went to the Nashville Zoo. It was pretty hot outside, like mid- to upper-90s, but the zoo is mostly shaded and there was a little breeze so it wasn't too bad. Work was busy all day and by 3:00 I felt like either going home and crawling in bed or walking it out at the zoo. So I went to the zoo! I figured that was better for me than taking a nap. Weekday afternoons are a good time to go because the zoo isn't crowded at all.

The meerkat exhibit is pretty close to the entrance so it's one of the first things I visit. And this is usually what they're doing, especially on hot days. I think this meerkat is related to Otis because this is how Otis prefers to sleep.

They have a "Goats Only" area in the petting zoo where goats can go when they are sick of people touching them. Most of the goats were there today, except for this kid who was on the fence. I was trying to get a quick picture because I was afraid he was going to eat my phone!

One of the zoo keepers was getting ready to feed the camels, so they were pretty alert. I was wearing a blue shirt and khaki shorts like the zoo keepers so maybe this camel thought I was one of them. He came right up to me. I backed up because I figured he might eat me too!

Here is a baby clouded leopard again. There's a video of them playing at the bottom of this post. They were all stretched out sleeping on a rock when I walked up. I know they are cats, but if I were them I would have gotten over my hatred of water and went swimming. It was hot!

It was hard to get a picture of the giraffes because they were so far away, but you can see the mama leaning down on the right and the new baby (born June 10) on the left! That's a big giraffe for being just two weeks old! They were chomping away on some leaves.

Clouded Leopard Cubs at the Nashville Zoo


warner woods trail.

Me and Nate after we finished our hike. I was squatting down so you can see the sign. :)
Nate and I slept in this morning and then drove out to Percy Warner Park west of the city. Back in 2009 before I bought my house, I lived with a couple of girls and they took me to hike at Edwin Warner Park, which is right next to Percy Warner. I hadn't been back since. Nate always sees the hills/mountains around here and says he wants to climb to the top, so we went hiking today. 

The Warner Woods Trail Loop was 2.5 miles but with the trek from the trail head, I'd say we went at least 3 miles. It was rated "Moderate" so there were some uphills that definitely got me sweating and a little out of breath but it was fun and beautiful. And the whole trail was very shady! It's so great that we can do something like this in our own city. I told Nate I would rather hike trails any day than go to the gym. We'll have to make this a routine to get back in shape!


ep study.

Yesterday I had an EP study at Vanderbilt to try to figure out the cause of my tachycardia. We were hoping they would be able to pinpoint the cause and do an ablation procedure immediately after the EP study. We showed up at the hospital at 10 a.m. and they got me all set up with an IV and heart monitor (all those wires!) and then we waited for the first case of the morning to finish so it could be my turn. It worked out really well that it was Nate's day off from work so he could keep me company until it was time for the EP study.

I wasn't too excited about wearing a hospital gown (but I did have really awesome yellow socks with no-slip padding on top and bottom). Nate sat with me while we waited and he told me I was really funny when I'm nervous. I was making a lot of jokes. They had me all hooked up to these wires and a blood pressure cuff and everything when I decided I had to go to the bathroom. I pushed the nurse call button and this random guy nurse came in and I said, "Sorry ... I have to go to the bathroom." And he said, "Oh, no!" and he leaned out the door and yelled, "We've got another one!" He was really funny and gave me a hard time about having to unplug me. You probably have to be kind of funny when you're a nurse because it's probably a really hard job sometimes.

These pictures were taken before I went in. I wasn't so happy and smiling afterward. We got in the cath lab at 12:30 and I was done around 2:30 p.m. Everything I read about an EP study online made me feel pretty good about it. It was minimally invasive and they said they give you sedation meds and pain meds to make you comfortable but not put you out. They said they'd give me an amnesia drug so I probably wouldn't remember much of the procedure.

Well apparently they decided they didn't want to give me too much sedation meds because they wanted to make sure the meds didn't keep my heart from doing its thing and apparently they didn't give me much pain meds or the local anesthetic didn't work well where they put the catheters in because it hurt really bad! I said, "Ouch! That hurts!" and they gave me more anesthetic but I don't think it helped. I cried. They told me to focus on being calm and taking deep, slow breaths. Then I had a lot of pain when they were moving the electrodes around in my heart. My chest hurt a lot and I bit my lip and toughed it out. And I remember every second of it!

I was on my back and there was a big X-ray over me so all I could see was the monitor that recorded my heart rhythm and rate. They used electrodes to make my heart go fast. They got it up to 210 at one point. They gave me a couple doses of this drug called adenosine to try to get my heart to react and it made me feel super weird for just a few seconds until it started to wear off. It wasn't fun. But their goal was to get the heart to go into tachycardia on its own, and they couldn't.

It was a 2-hour procedure and they said they couldn't find what they were looking for. I was pretty disappointed. When they wheeled me back to my room, the nurse told Nate they weren't able to give me much meds but that I did a good job. I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since before midnight the night before, so the nurse brought me water and a turkey sandwich and some baked chips. I had to lay flat in bed for two more hours to make sure the incision where they went in my femoral vein started to heal. Then Nate pulled the car up and the nurse took me down in a wheelchair to go home. They gave us a prescription for pain meds and instructions which included, "If she starts bleeding, apply pressure and call 911!"

So I'm home today recovering. Just tired and a bit sore. Since they couldn't fix me, I have to just treat my tachycardia with beta blockers. They said I probably have sinus tachycardia and if they try to fix it with ablation, in most cases it comes back within a few months and if they do something wrong, it would require a pacemaker. My cardiologist said it wasn't worth the risk. I'll go back to see him at the end of July.

So, all in all, I survived. It was ten times worse than I expected. A little traumatic. Like the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life, but I've had a pretty comfortable life so far. So that part is frustrating. Vanderbilt is a good hospital and EP studies aren't supposed to hurt at all, so I contacted my cardiologist's office this afternoon and gave them a message about my experience and asked some questions so hopefully they'll get back to me soon. Nate went back to work tonight. I'll go back to work tomorrow.



16 june 12.

I think we looked forward to Saturday morning all week. When that alarm goes off at 5:15 and every five minutes afterward because I keep snoozing it, all I can think about is how nice it would be to sleep in. So this morning, we slept in. We woke up slowly and took showers and around 10, we went to Cracker Barrel for brunch.

After eating, we sat outside and played a game of checkers. This old lady walked by and said, "Do you have a camera? I'll take your picture." So I taught her how to use an iPhone. I got a picture of her shirt, a picture of me walking away from her, and several pictures of us with her fingers in the shot. :) But we cropped this one and even though you can see her reflection in the window, it turned out pretty good. I beat Nate in checkers, by the way. :) We ran an errand and then went home.

Nate asked me if I would cut his hair. Before you jump to any conclusions, this picture was taken MID-haircut. I wasn't finished! Usually I just trim and fade his head and do minimal touch-up on his beard, but this time he said he wanted it off for summer. No guard on the trimmer. It was pretty fun. I started in the middle top, but I should have given him a mohawk or something. :) Next summer. 

He wouldn't let me touch his beard, so the beard stayed. He has a nice cool head for summer. Now he just needs to work on getting that scalp a little more tan to match his forehead and neck. I rinsed his head off under the hose when I was done so he wouldn't drop hair all over the house on his way to the shower.

Sneak attack! If you ever come over to our house, be careful where you sit on the couch. Otis was all into the ninja talons today and he took a good slice out of my finger. Somedays during the day the little kitten in Otis goes bonkers. And that's when Nate grabs him and cuddles with him subdues him. Happy weekend!



I went back to the cardiologist today since I finished my 30-day heart monitor. They did another EKG, but they've always been normal. They concluded that I have tachycardia, which I already knew, but they ruled out it being caused by any medications. So he decided our next step is an EP study. Next Wednesday I'm going to Vanderbilt to have it done. If they can pinpoint the cause of my tachycardia, they'll go ahead and do an ablation while they're in there. I'll be awake but partially sedated so I might not remember much of it. We're hoping they'll find the cause and do the ablation because that procedure has a 90-98% success rate and I could be tachycardia free! It's minimally invasive but the EP study takes 1-2 hours, the ablation takes 4-6 hours. Then I have to lay still for 4-6 hours afterward. Nate better bring something to read.

I got home from my appointment around 5 and picked up Nate and we went to the zoo. The Nashville Zoo posted some pictures on Facebook of their new baby lambs and clouded leopard cubs. They also had a baby giraffe born last Sunday, but it's not on exhibit. The zoo closes at 6, so we hurried. First we went and saw the lambs. They were cute, but I didn't get a picture because they were behind a fence and laying down and kind of hard to see. This horse came right up to us though.

Nate isn't particularly a huge fan of the zoo, but he goes because he loves me. And he loves his camera apps on his iPhone so he likes to take pictures of shadows and leaves and things. I told him we had to hurry to make it over to see the leopard cubs on the other side of the zoo. He said, "Hold on, I'm being an artist." Unfortunately we asked a zookeeper where the leopard cubs were, and she said, "They're only out during certain times and since we close in 15 minutes, I doubt they're out right now." So we'll have to come back some day and see what times they have them on exhibit. I was sad we didn't get to see them.

On the way out we passed the meerkats and the storks. Storks … you know, where babies come from. :) We renewed our 2-year zoo membership so it's OK that we were only there for an hour. For the two of us to go and to park, it would cost $35. We've been twice this month. A 2-year membership for both of us and FREE parking is $100. You do the math. That's a pretty great deal. Plus we live only a mile from the zoo. It's so crowded on weekends but I like to go after work during the week because hardly anyone is there. And it's mostly shaded so you can get a nice walk in without sweating to death.

After the zoo we were super hungry and thirsty. I've been cooking dinners all week so we decided to go out. We picked up sesame chicken from one of our favorite Chinese places. One is enough to share. It was so delicious. I also stopped by Kroger for some soda. Since being married, I switched Nate over to diet and they had 2-liters on sale so I stocked up. And I buckled them in the back seat. It only makes since! Nate took a photo because he thought it was funny, and he said I'm going to be a good mom someday. OK, no one likes their soda (or their kids) rolling around the car while they drive. I was just being practical! :)


monopoly night.

Last night we had Kierston over and had slow cooker ribs for dinner with potatoes and edamame. After dinner we ate dessert and played Monopoly. After some lucrative immunity deals, hotel builds, and mass payments on hotel maintenance, it was a close game between me and Nate. (Kierston was in major debt to Nate and ended up having to give him everything she owned.)

Then Nate said, "I need to go meet with my friend Michael at 8:30," which basically means, "I quit, so Alyssa—even though I have more property and cash than you—you win." :-) So in Monopoly world, Nate died or retired and wasn't worth anything anymore so I won by default. He owned more than half the board so he probably would have won in the end, but I wouldn't let us stop playing until he announced that I had won. I'm sure we'll have a rematch someday.


air filter upgrade.

So the other day I was driving and thought, Whew, the air coming out of my vents really stinks! Of course, I Googled it and found out that cars come with an in cabin air filter that should be changed every 15,000 miles (or 1 year). Well I've had my car for almost two years and have driven about 15,000 miles so I ordered a replacement filter for $20 online. I read that dealerships will replace the filter for you, but they will charge upwards of $100. Today the filter arrived in the mail. I watched a YouTube video and got to work.

Step 1: Remove eight screws holding your glove box in place. Remove the glove box. This was really easy.

Step 2: Locate the filter. It's in there basically in the middle of the photo, along the back wall. It's tall and skinny and black. In the video, they just reached back and pulled it out. Well, I tried. I couldn't get it to budge. I pulled up, down, out. I tried plying it out with a screwdriver. Nothing. So I got Nate on it.

Nate didn't have much luck either, so I tried again. I got on my back and scrunched myself up on the floorboard and wedged a flathead halfway up the filter and twisted. It popped right off. I pulled out the old filter ... and it was BLACK!

Gross! No wonder the air smelled so bad. I bet that filter hasn't been changed ever in that car, which is a 2008 and has about 75,000 miles on it now. The new filter (white!) snapped right in and we are good to go.

Nate said he was having a hard time being proud of me because he thought it was a job he should have done, but I was feeling pretty proud of myself. :) Plus I saved us $80.

Nate is heading out to play laser tag with his coworkers as a company treat. He got a promotion today so we went out to dinner to celebrate! He's now a team lead which is one step under store manager. I also finished wearing my heart monitor today! Today was Day 30. I'll see my cardiologist again next week to see what the results were and find out our next plan of action.
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